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Synopsis on the ARM TOT Program february 2010
June 6, 2010, 3:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

By-line : Md. Samsur Rahman , ISLM , DU , Email : mdsamsurrahman@yahoo.com

A training program was arranged by the BARMS in association with The Directorate of Archives and Libraries at the newly built Archives Building in Sher-E-Bangla Nagar , Dhaka on Archives and Record Management from 22nd – 24th of February , 2010 . The training program was a success as it was attended by several foreign as well as domestic teachers as well as by 30 – 40 students relevant to the platform of Archives and Records Management . To name the teachers ,

The Foreign Teachers were :

1 Mr. Drs Florus Geraedts ( An archivist from The Netherlands )
2 Mr. Savumthara Raz Gopal ( An archivist from Malaysia )
3 Mr. Jean-Philippe Caquet ( An archivist from Norway )

The Domestic Teachers were :

1 Dr. Sharif Uddin Ahmed ( Dept. of History , DU )
2 Dr. Mahbubar Rahman ( Dept. of History , RU )
3 Dr. Mezbah-Ul-Islam ( Dept. of Information Science and Library Management , DU )

DAY – 01 ( 22nd of February , 2010 )

The opening ceremony was inaugurated by the Honourable Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs for the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh , Mr. Hedayet-Ullah-Al-Mamoon , at 10 AM . Afterwards , he made his speech telling that the record management system here in Bangladesh is a by-product of the British Empire . He talked about the record management system and the relevancy of education system with the record management system .

Then came Mr. Florus Geraedts and told that throughout the sessions arranged we are going to teach each other , thus imparting basic knowledge among us on the field of ARM .

Afterwards came Prof. Dr. Sharif Uddin Ahmed with his literature “Introduction to Archives and Records Management” and told that archive is not only a provider of historical research information , but also a tool for ensuring good governance throughout the administration of the government of Bangladesh . He suggested to have a professional training institute for the archives .

Afterwards , came Dr. Mahbubar Rahman with his topic “Archival Legislation in Bangladesh” . He explained archival hierarchy existing in Bangladesh from the National level through Divisional level and District level to Upazilla level . He further explained how these archives are functioning and the background or historical reason for not having good records room practices in Bangladesh .

Afterwards came Mr. Florus Geraedts with his literature “Acquisition of Archives” . He stated that in Bangladesh , the awareness of proper records keeping has just pioneered and urged on building networks with the people having commitment to Archives and Records Management throughout the country and suggested that not only people from history discipline but also from several disciplines ( the journalists , publishing bodies , lawyers , information scientists or experts , computer experts and others relevant ) should be communicated .

Afterwards came Mr. Savumthara Raz Gopal with his literature “Disaster Management : Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan” . He talked about different types of plan , i.e. Disaster Plan ; Disaster Preparedness Plan ; Disaster Recovery Plan ; and Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan . He further stated about the purposes , aims , objectives , needs , uses and objectives of the Disaster Plan .

DAY – 02 ( 23rd of February , 2010 )

The second day was started with the literature “Finding Aids of Archival Records” by Mr. Jean-Philippe Caquet ( An archivist from Norway ) . He proposed that we should have a plan , inventory and devices as such to locate records quickly and with effectiveness .

Afterwards the sessions started with the literature “Registry Manual” by Raj Gopal . He talked about the importance of documentation manual and explained several types of manual – Registry Manual , Registry Procedures Manual , Records Management Manual , Archives Administration Manual and so forth .

For the absence of Mr. Florus Geraedts , Mr. Raz Gopal made some introductory talks over records classification , he classified records under two types , i.e. housekeeping records and functional records . Under the house-keeping records , he categorized administration , building , equipment and supplies , finance and personnel ( Human Resource ) , and under the functional records he categorized all the records related to organization’s functions .

Afterwards came with his literature titled “Classification , Appraisal and Disposal of Documents” Mr. Florus Geraedts . He urged the people concerned to make all the information available on to the Internet and suggested working together co-operatively . Neutrality and ethics in the records keeping system is highly emphasized throughout his lecture . He asked the records keepers not to be biased or prone to any political parties or government agencies .

Afterwards came with his literature “Preservation of Archives and Records – ( Part 1 )” Mr. Raz Gopal . He proposed that the location of the storage area should be away from disaster-prone area , fire sources , flood , pollution and public disaster-prone area . He also talked about security and access , under which he brought control access , electronic access , and the importance of trained personnel as well as importance of validating the access , thereby , blocking the intruders from the system , thus preventing information distortion of any kind .

Afterwards Mr. Jean-Philippe Caquet came with his literature “How to Inspect Records Rooms” . He emphasized on keeping in mind the disaster management plan while inspecting the records rooms .

Afterwards came with his literature “Preservation of Archives and Records – ( Part 2 )” Mr. Raz Gopal . At this point Florus put a remark that “laminating is suffocating” and Raz Gopal rather emphasized over the encapsulation of the materials if needed . Raz Gopal also commented that every repair should be reversible as the techniques are going amid changes in the course of time .

Later on Mr. Raz Gopal came with his another literature “Hands-on Conservation” . In this part , he mentioned about records life cycle ( creation — maintenance ) then , the records might go to heaven ( archives for permanent preservation ) or hell ( disposition ) ( as quoted by famous T. R. Schelenburg ) . He proposed the National Archives of Bangladesh to make a team whose responsibility will be inspecting the offices suddenly to look out for whether the records are maintained properly or not .

Later on came Mr. Jean-Philippe Caquet with his literature “Private Archives” . He defined and categorized under the private archives – the personal collection , non-government school archives , business houses and factories archives and the like archives or records centres . He suggested NAB , BARMS and HABT to take initiatives to collect private archives and promoting this field through press release .

Afterwards , came Mr. Florus Geraedts with his literature “Need of Public Records Act” . He talked about several issues of Right To Information ( RTI ) . He addressed the RTI , if implemented properly , as a tool for eradicating corruption in the administrative setup of Bangladesh , thereby instituting real transparency and accountability in there – that would certainly resulted in good governance in the country .

DAY – 03 ( 24th of February , 2010 )

The third day started with the lecture “Using Archives for Local History : Service to Reading Room Visitors , Students and Scholars” by Mr. Florus Geraedts . He requested for treating the visitors in the reading rooms politely . He concluded telling that it is a pity that BARMS is the only allied for National Archives of Bangladesh and for archives scattering the whole country in Bangladesh like Heritage Archives and the like .

The next session started with the lecture “Archives and Records Management in Malaysia” by Mr. Savumthara Raz Gopal . He suggested that we should get the act of the NAM and of the National Archives of Australia 2008 as it is quite recommendable for its incorporation of issues like digital records keeping and so forth as the yardstick for our country . In this regard Md. Samsur Rahman , a participant in the training program , made a remark suggesting that Google Translation Service can be used to overcome language barriers .

Later on came Mr. Jean-Philippe Caquet with his lecture “Raising Archival Awareness” . He talked about raising the awareness for archival development through press release , exhibitions , lectures , and education in schools , colleges , and user communities for the promotion of archives . He concluded suggesting that exhibition , 40 years celebration of the establishment of National Archives of Bangladesh and seminars can be arranged for the promotion of the archival movement .

Afterwards came Mr. Savumthara Raz Gopal with his literature “Training Programs or Modules in Records Management and Archives Administration” . To be precise , he gave a general outline for the training program on Records Management and on Archives Administration separately . At this point Mr. Florus Geraedts told that realization will be our capital for motivation . He added that no one will come from UK or USA to do that , but we are supposed to do that by ourselves – it should be done in the inside of ourselves – so we are requested to go and internalize it ! He pityingly told that he visited many government offices , and the people sitting at the desk were nothing but the mental patient – who does not have the idea for the importance of proper records management , and the relevance of good governance with the records keeping system .

Later on came Mr. Florus Geraedts with his literature “RTI and Record Keeping” . He told that sharing of knowledge is needed , that will be ultimately , resulting in enriching every one’s knowledge domain – that is why the program was arranged in such a way that facilitates both-way-communication not only the single-way-communication among the participants . He asked for having dialogues or discussions with the politicians and bureaucrats addressing it as a vital issue for the proper maintenance and check-and-balance in the field of records keeping and overall information management . He asked to convey the government people the message that RTI is not our enemy rather a good friend for maintaining real accountability and transparency in the governance . He added that until the RTI is implemented effectively , the citizenship will not be working properly , let alone dreaming for the free flow of information throughout the government departments .

At the closing ceremony , Mr. Iqbal Mahmud ( Secretary , Ministry of Establishment , Government of Bangladesh ) as the chief guest was informed of some suggestions coming out from the training program , that is , “development and modernization of archives” and “allocation of more funds” .

Dr. Taibul Hasan ( Present Director , National Archives of Bangladesh ) said that by means of arranging such training programs , cultural exchanges among the participating countries can be observed , which will ultimately proved to be useful for our country as well as for the participating countries .

Jalal Ahmed made all of us remembered that the very day is the birthday for the BARM as well since the BARM was established on the 24th of March , 2009 at the auditorium of National Museum .

Mr. Florus Geraedts thanked all the people present there and asked us to row against the decay to develop the records keeping and information management system existing in Bangladesh .

Mr. Raz Gopal said that the national archives of Bangladesh should be provided with more budgets and it should recruit much more human resources to maintain the archives properly .

Mr. Jean-Philippe Caquet suggested to the NAB to celebrate its 40 years of celebration as a form of awareness raising program and he also asked for the real implementation of the RTI .

After the speeches , the certificate was given among the participants . And after that Mr. Iqbal Mahmud ( Honourable Secretary , Ministry of Establishment , Government of Bangladesh ) mentioned about 8 Millennium Development Goals and made a linkage between 4 goals those are to some or much extent concerned with the proper record keeping and information management and with transparency and accountability in the governance . He enunciated that there are laws in our country but what is missing is the real implementation of the same saying that we have records manual but it is not followed properly .

Afterwards came Prof. Sharif Uddin stated that training program as such will have to go a long way to develop the NAB . He thanked the trainers for their hard-working , help and presence without which the program will become futile .

Afterwards Lt. Col. Lutful Huq came and appreciated the hard-working of the trainees as it is very difficult to attend the classes from 9.00 to 5.00 for the 3 days long .

Afterwards came Ms. Salma Islam ( Assistant Director , National Archives of Bangladesh ) and proposed that we should go like “Environment Movement” and make awareness higher and higher among the people in general for the archives and proper records management system .

Thus , the 3-days long training program on the Archives and Records Management had finished effectively and efficiently with fruition .

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